Codependency and Alcoholism: What You Need to Know

Codependency and alcoholism are closely intertwined. While codependency can be present without addiction, addiction can more intensely fuel an unhealthy relationship for both the person with the illness and the loved one who is seeking to help them. It’s vital to understand that if you serve as a support system to someone with an addiction, you are also at high risk of codependency. Below is what you need to know about codependency and alcoholism.

If you or your loved one need a safe space to recover from addiction, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn more about our short- and long-term recovery programs.

A Definition–What is Codependency?

At its core, codependency is relying on someone to provide you with something you can’t provide for yourself. This can be manifested in a few ways. For instance, in a physical sense, you may not be able to support yourself financially, so you rely on someone else to support you. Emotionally, it’s common for those who are codependent to seek someone’s approval in order to achieve validation and happiness. Many times, your actions may be based on how it will make the person you are codependent on feel, regardless of your own emotions.

For instance, if the person you are codependent on disapproves of something you want to do, even if it’s something you enjoy, then you likely will not do it or will feel bad about doing it.

It’s the same the other way around—if they praise you for doing something that you actually did not enjoy, you will likely still continue that behavior to make them happy, even though it makes you feel bad. Keep in mind that the person you are codependent on is most likely not aware of their influence on you.

Codependency as an Alcoholic

Those with alcoholism are often codependent on their caretakers, whether that be their parents, partner, or roommate. In reference to the physical sense, many people who struggle with alcoholism may have difficulty keeping a steady income. This affects their ability to provide themselves with basic needs such as a living space, food, and medicine.

In terms of emotion, alcoholics will also often rely on their caretakers for validation of their sense of self-worth. They may seek ways to win approval so that they can prove to themselves that their life has meaning and purpose. Without such approval, they may not be able to provide themselves an authentic sense of self-worth.

Codependency as a Loved One of an Alcoholic

It is possible to be codependent on someone who is struggling with alcoholism if they are very close to you. This means that you are willing to go out of your way to make sure that the person with the illness is comfortable. You can do this in a few ways, such as letting them stay at your house for free or buying them food in order to sustain them. While this is not always the right choice, you know it will make them happy, so you continue to do so anyway.

Consider Myrtle Beach Recovery

We hope you better understand codependency and alcoholism. If you are struggling with addiction and/or codependency, consider reaching out to Myrtle Beach Recovery for assistance. We offer short-term and long-term recovery programs, providing a safe place to work through the 12 Steps. Contact us today to find out how we can help you on your path to sobriety.